Adventure, baby!

Katia Barker

Katia Barker is a 30-something stay-at-home mum to two beautiful (though sleep-adverse) children (Jenson 4 3/4 and Isla 22 months). Pre-baby life rendered a highly organised, efficient and calm advertising professional whose outlook on life was to absorb all of what life would throw at her. Now, all that is being thrown at her is food in its various incarnations. Katia’s new future includes educating and opening her children up to what the world has to offer, including food! and renovating her dream home (oh and getting that haircut which is seriously overdue!).

Post Box Café: Kid-Friendly Cafes, Yowie Bay, Sutherland Shire

Tucked away in the quiet suburb of Yowie Bay, Post Box Café is somewhat of an institution with locals and for good reason. The food is delicious, the coffee is one of the best found in the Sutherland Shire and the staff welcome everyone with a smile – especially those with kids!

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Isla relaxing in front of Post Box Café. Photo by Katia Barker.

On a sunny Sunday morning Jenson, Isla and I took a walk up to Post Box Café (did I mention it was also my local?) to enjoy a lazy morning tea and allow Jenson to let of some steam in their play area. We parked ourselves on the grass area whilst the locals filled up the tables inside and out with a gusto. Parking is a premium and a revolving door of those stopping in to grab and go, and those situated for a long, lazy brunch. We quickly ordered (coffee $3.80 and a passionfruit slice $2.50 for me, banana milkshake $3.00 and cinnamon toast $5.00 for Jenson) and before I had paid our drinks were ready.

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Jenson and his signature ‘Banana Milkshake’ $3.00 Photo by Katia Barker.

Jenson went about exploring the assorted toys and equipment which are in fair condition – (read – all are a little broken but still entertaining nevertheless) whilst Isla made her way over to the water bowl supplied for our four-legged friends and proceeded to tip it out before I could catch her. Being a sunny morning we weren’t in a rush to disappear, however Isla made it known when enough was enough and I called a reluctant Jenson back so we could meander back home.

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Jenson at play. Photo by Katia Barker.

Post Box Café does not slow down during the week, and bookings are recommended for lunch and all day on weekends, otherwise ordering take-away and sitting on the grassy verge is pleasant. Kids are also catered for in wet weather, with colouring in books, magazines and textas also supplied. The menu is full of appetising options for both kids and adults and they offer daily specials if you are after something a little different to standard café fare.

Last Bite: Post Box Café is a fun, kid-friendly café who have put thought in to catering to the little ones. A gem of Yowie Bay that the local’s treasure and those out of suburb wish was on their front door. If you haven’t checked this one out yet put it on your must-visit list!

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes, outside there is plenty of room, indoors could be tight
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: Yes, the menu is great for young and old(er)

Post Box Café
46a Attunga Rd, Yowie Bay, NSW, 2228
Phone: 02 9531 5659
Price: $-$$
Hours: Monday – Sunday 8am – 4pm (approximately)
Get Directions

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Flowercino: Kid-Friendly Cafes, Caringbah, Sutherland Shire, Sydney

The combination of a florist and café, Flowercino is a perfect mix for a stunning little café in the heart of Sutherland Shire. With added quirky elements such as the hanging display of pots and pans, and the veggie garden out back there is something for even the most discerning little foodie to enjoy.

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Jenson exploring the garden area at Flowercino. Photo by Katia Barker

Arriving on a warm morning we were still in time for the breakfast menu which offers both sweet and savoury options. We quickly claimed the shadiest table out in the garden before making our selections. The locals seemed to have made residence at the shop front, giving the café a buzzing vibe, whereas the back garden is the place to be for visitors with children, or those needing a little extra space (or prefer the pleasant view over to Castlenau Park).

After we placed our order Jenson went about exploring the herb gardens, mismatched garden furniture and chalk board for budding artists to create their masterpieces whilst waiting for the food to arrive. I ordered the Turkish with bacon, egg, tomato & avocado ($9.50) whilst Ross went for the specialty of Turkish with Za’atar, baked eggs, spinach, smoked ham and tomato ($12.50) and personally I think I won as my meal was delicious, very generous and excellent value. Jenson insisted on having a sandwich before we left home so didn’t order a meal, although there are plenty of child-friendly options from toast, muesli, sweet breads and bacon and eggs to choose from. Instead a mini milkshake ($3.00) and tea-cup biscuit ($4.00) were his selections.

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Avocado with tomato, bacon and egg on Turkish toast ($9.50). Photo by Katia Barker
Flowercino- kid-friendly restaurants, Caringbah, NSW- via
Za’Atar Turkish ($12.50). Photo by Katia Barker

Drinks are served in take-away friendly cups for customers who are sitting in the garden, perhaps for safety – however a brilliant decision in case you need to make a quick exit to prevent or manage a mini meltdown. Thankfully both Jenson and Isla were well behaved and Ross and I managed to finish our drinks (banana smoothie $5.90 and iced coffee $4.50) without a mad dash.

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Jenson only has eyes for his tea-cup biscuit ($4.00). Photo by Katia Barker

A promise of a play at Castlenau Park afterwards was suffice for Jenson to maintain his composure throughout brunch although he did prefer standing on his chair rather than sitting, well you win some you lose some!

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Jenson at play at Castlenau Park. Photo by Katia Barker

Last Bite: Flowercino is a quaint kid-friendly café offering great value food and service, welcoming to families with delightful staff, tucked away in suburban Caringbah. The added bonus of being located near an excellent park also helps appease active little people!

Highchairs: No.
Stroller storage:Yes, plenty of room in the garden, inside the shop might be a squeeze.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No, but plenty of easy options to choose from

487a Port Hacking Road
Caringbah, NSW 2229
Phone: 02 9531 7435
Price: $-$$
Mon-Thur: 5:30am-5:30pm, Fri 5:30am-6pm, Sat 5:30am-4pm, Sun 6am-2pm
Get Directions

Flowercino on Urbanspoon

Arthur’s By The River: Kid-Friendly Restaurants, Woronora, Sutherland

Finding a kid-friendly restaurant around the Sutherland Shire takes some hunting, but Arthur’s By the River —a bright and welcoming restaurant—ticks all the boxes of catering towards the little people while making adults feel a little bit special as well. With trepidation, I made a booking for the family at Arthur’s By the River for a “nice” family lunch. I say nice, although I was planning for something more along the lines of quick and minus the calamity. Jenson, three-and-a-half, is most known for his famous line, “I don’t like lunch”, and Isla, six months, earned herself the nickname “rattlesnake” in the nursery at the hospital at no more than two days old. I nervously put my hand up to review this family-friendly restaurant with my hubby, Ross.

Formally called Lemon Squeezy, Arthur’s By the River describes itself as providing great food, good wine, excellent service with fabulous company and it does not disappoint. With stunning views across the Woronora River (although the day we went was rather gloomy), and a dedicated area just for kids to play, our lunch resulted in tasty food, a few laughs and full bellies for all (including the boy who turns his nose up at any formal meal setting!). Another fun touch is that each table has a little game or pack of cards to entertain yourselves with should conversations be lacking (note our Connect Four remained unplayed, however).

Whilst we waited for our food Jenson took himself to the play area and served up morning tea for us all, travelling between our table and the play area with various toys. It wasn’t too busy so we weren’t concerned about this, however, as it got busier later with more children, we would have ensured he kept the toys in their rightful place.

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Jenson serving up morning tea. Photo by Katia Barker

The a la carte menu is simple with items such as quiche, three cheese lasagne and chicken curry, and is supplemented with extensive blackboard specials, ensuring there is something for everyone. I chose a staple favourite Chicken Schnitzel Toastie, with Ross nominating the Lamb Skewers. Jenson has his selection from the small, but adequate children’s menu—Fish & Chips with the necessary red sauce (tomato ketchup). Ross and I treated ourselves to a beverage from their beer and wine list, adding a grown up element to our lunch. The food arrived quickly with our waitress and host, Debbie, delivering the meals with smiles and a nothing-is-too-hard attitude. Debbie went out of her way to make Jenson welcome and engaged him in conversation which made him feel very special, and Isla slurped down some pureed apple and peach whilst we devoured our meals. Ross claimed the freshly baked garlic pita was the hero of his meal and the chips we all had on our plates were divine, crispy and perfectly salted. It’s lucky we all had chips with our meals as I’m sure there would have been thieving fingers travelling across the table for sampling purposes.

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Lamb Skewers with Garlic Pita and Salad ($12.90). Photo by Katia Barker.
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Kids’ Fish Cocktails with Chips ($4.90). Photo by Katia Barker.

Arthur’s By the River also offers event hire, children’s parties, value dinner nights for families and, surprisingly, takeaway picnics to allow you to set up outside and dine by the river, which we will definitely be back to do when the weather warms up.

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View of Woronora River on a gloomy wet day. Photo by Katia Barker.

Overall I would consider this lunch outing a success, Jenson was well behaved (mostly) and ate his lunch with some encouragement, and Isla did not serenade the other diners with her falsetto screaming, phew! Our confidence in venturing out for more dining experiences is growing!

Last Bite: Arthur’s By the River is a unique kid-friendly restaurant tucked away in Woronora in the Sutherland Shire. With a simple yet satisfying menu and stunning location, this gem is well worth the visit over the bridge to the “Shire”. Why not make a day of it and hire a boat or canoe and paddle your breakfast or lunch off around the river?

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes, if you carry your stroller upstairs there is plenty of space within the restaurant.
Easy access: No, a flight of stairs to enter the restaurant.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: Yes, simple but all the standard favourites.

Arthur’s By the River
Level 1, 2 Prices Cct
Woronora, NSW 2232
Phone: (02) 9545 6557
Prices: $$
Hours: Wed-Fri 7am-4pm and 5:30am-8:30pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm and 5:30-9pm
Get Directions

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